I was intending to post something as soon as I got home, but once I got here I realized that I needed some time to wind down. Or, perhaps more accurately, to wind myself up. It seems like that's what I'm doing these days --simply functioning on auto-pilot, walking (crutching) around like a wind-up doll. I'm so exhausted right now: physically, mentally, emotionally. Things have been tough these past few weeks, but I know that this injury is only temporary and that given time I'll start feeling like, well, ME again. So, I just keep truckin' along, and heaven knows I'm trying to do so with a smile.
When I got in touch with my clinic last week, I was told that my doctor was going to be out of town, but that there were other very competent doctors who would be able to take a look at me. Now, I love my doctor. I mean the woman has literally saved my life, in return for which I vowed to name my next child after her. What? It's a boy? Sorry, kid. I promised Holly at the University of Utah. Anyway, as much as I love the woman, I had just the tiniest inkling that she'd want to hospitalize me, what with the recurring fevers and increased cough, plus the decline in my PFT's. I also happen to know that she is opposed to home IV's. (In theory? Not so much. But to replace a hospital stay? Definitely.) From what I understand she has allowed it maybe once or twice, but only because the patient cried, begged, pleaded, offered her their firstborn and threatened to jump off the roof of the hospital before staying there. Okay, I may be exaggerating but only a little bit, I swear. So when I heard that I'd be seen by a different doctor, I secretly hoped that would mean I could talk my way out of a full two-week hospitalization.
Well, what do ya know? I calmly and collectedly presented my opinions (yes, we need to treat the infection) and ideas (but why not in the comfort of my own home?) to the team, hoping that would be enough to persuade them. Okay, so there may have been some crying, begging, pleading and promises I didn't intend to keep thrown in there, but what really matters is that they agreed! The deal was that after my fevers were under control and home health had a chance to get everything set up, I'd be set free. I'm grateful they held up to their end of the bargain, but now I'm trying to decide how best to break it to them that I'm not really related to Bill Gates nor was I one of the original Spice Girls so I may not be following through with certain promised payoffs.
Three days into this home IV therapy, I'm feeling very comfortable and confident with it. I'm learning to navigate this new adventure well. I've been able to go to work, spend time with my husband and baby and see my sister who is in town from Ohio (and has been a HUGE help). All the while, keeping up with my treatments and with my GemStar IV pump right by my side. I'll tell ya, being home kicks being in the hospital's butt anyday!
My home health nurse happens to be someone I've helped at work before. We don't know each other very well at all, just enough that we both recognized each other immediately. (Welcome to a small town.) She is very competent and caring and sweet and empathetic. She has been an angel, and just minutes ago she called me and totally made my whole week. She said that she's been thinking about me this week and she feels like she has learned a lesson from my situation. She said, "Seeing you at your job, I never would have guessed you had a baby at home, had recently suffered a serious injury, had a chronic illness, are now dealing with a set-back from that illness and yet you're still smiling and trying to work as much as possible." And then she went on to say, "I guess you never know how strong the people are that you meet; you never know what challenges they are facing. You are my hero for fighting the way you do, and I will always remember your story."
Wow! I was really touched -- but even more dumbfounded -- by that! I feel so weak and vulnerable right now. I feel like I've been complaining entirely too much. I feel like I'm short with Adam, even though he's trying his hardest to help me in every way possible. I feel like my entire world has come crashing down because of this stupid foot injury, when there are so many people out there facing real challenges who hold themselves together so much better than I do. I've cried so many times in the past few weeks, but when I think about how minimal my problems are in comparison to so many others, I get upset about feeling sorry for myself. And this sweet woman thinks I'm a hero?
I haven't quite wrapped my head around that yet, but the more I think about it, I do believe there is an explanation for her kindness. Something I too, experienced this week. Something extraordinary and wonderful and comforting that made me euphoric for a time, as well:
SHE MUST BE WEARING CABBAGE IN HER BRA!